© WWF / Simon Rawles
Leading the Change
Indigenous Peoples and local communities have governed and conserved their lands and waters for generations and are some of the best stewards of the world’s remaining natural landscapes.

Their knowledge, sovereignty, governance and leadership are crucial to conserving threatened wildlife and restoring precious habitats, as well as advancing economic stability, food security and other specific community needs.

However, their rights in natural resource management are often unrecognised by the government and, too, unknown to them. With largely top-down policymaking processes as well as weak law enforcement across the Mekong region, civil societies are left with narrow space to voice their needs and concerns in the places where they live.


What WWF is doing

At WWF, we strongly believe that recognising the rights, territories, laws and culture of local communities is crucial to delivering inclusive and sustainable development and finding the most effective solutions to the most pressing environmental problems. To help mobilise women, men, youth, Indigenous Peoples, people with a disability and traditionally marginalised  groups to participate in natural resource governance, we are:

  • Helping raise the voices of civil society on the local and national level to promote social inclusion and the formal recognition of their rights in the natural landscapes where they live
  • Equipping communities and civil society organisations with the institutional and technical management skills needed to engage in policy dialogues with the government and private sector to influence strategies on natural resource management